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Old 04-26-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
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L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

The surgery was 4/7/2010. Prior to surgery I had to stoop over because I could not stand up straight. I had a few nights of severe pain in my outer right thigh to the point it almost made me sick. Numbness across my foot and into my big toe which was numb. MRI confirmed disc herniation and L5 nerve root compacted.

I'm just shy of 3 weeks post surgery. My tingling in my foot and numbness in my toe is pretty much gone. I have no severe sciatic pain however I do still have some in the buttocks area. Mainly when walking and when rolling over in bed.

The muscles on the right side of my body are really tense and tight. I feel a huge need to stretch out but the doctor told me to just walk a mile or so each day. The muscles have me pulled down to the right.

The doctor hasn't really told me much. He did tell my wife while I was sleeping that everything looks good and my nerve looks good.

I'm going a little nuts because I don't really know what to expect. I had one appointment to remove the stitches and now don't go back until 5-17-2010. I did ask the question while at his office. How should I feel..was simply told everyone is different.

I guess I"m looking for reassurance that still having pain 3 weeks post opp is normal and not a sign that it has not been a successful operation. I'm not miserable but I sure can't go back to my job at this point.

 
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:10 PM   #2
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

PATIENCE and don't overdo anything are the keys to recovery, I had the same surgery the 26th march.... Post back if you want to hear more. Gd luck 2 u

 
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:40 AM   #3
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

I had the same surgery on L4/5 in mid-January. Take it slow but do your walking. Still a little early to be lifting weights! You should still be on a weight restriction, check with your doctor. You will find increased recovery on a weekly basis. Sometimes day by day. But it was more helpful to me to compare weeks especially early on in the 1st month. The farther away from my surgery the slower recovery. Only because after first two months I found that I was already better than before my surgery. The rest of my recovery requires stretching and strengthening, you know physical therapy. And that about were I'm at now. Good luck! Don't freak out. If you have a concern, call your surgeon to make sure. It may be a good question. It is hard to come up with all the question at the per-surgery consult.

Last edited by sookiepooka; 04-27-2010 at 06:41 AM.

 
Old 04-27-2010, 07:55 AM   #4
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

I don't do any weight lifting at all. I used my gym to walk. I did use a eliptical one day and my back did not like that at all. Felt great while on it but not so good after.

I'll certainly need some PT when the time comes. My muscles have me pulled down to the right.

Okay so patience it is!!! I used to feel like Superman......don't like feeling like Mr. Magoo! At least not at 37.

 
Old 04-27-2010, 08:58 AM   #5
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

BigRossi, follow doctors orders. DON'T OVER DO IT! I had microdiscectomy on 3/17/10 and did well for 4 weeks. After a 30 min. walk with my wife at the park, the next morning I could hardly walk. I got worse the rest of the week. Went back to doctor and had MRI. Waiting for doctor call with results on thurs.Don
't know what I done but I'm back feeling the way I did before surgery. I know it's hard to stop normal activities but it's so easy to overdo it.I'm 56 and use to playing golf twice a week, working out with weights and mowing my own yard. Now I can't do any of those things. So, just make sure you take it easy and start slow when you do start exercises. Good Luck to you!

 
Old 04-27-2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

Thanks and please post back. I'm curious to hear what you did. You would think a 30 minute walk would be harmless.

It is hard to slow down. I want to live like everything is normal. My sons play coach pitch baseball and it drives me nuts to not be out there throwing the ball running around playing catch with them.

Tomorrow is only week 3 after the operation. With the pain meds I do pretty decent. When I stop the pain meds I really feel it.

 
Old 04-28-2010, 01:10 AM   #7
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

dont stress its normal, i know the pain as i had the same op and was vomiting with the pain (i was on oxycontin then and still am) plus endone and neurontin for nerve damage, it seems like no one can actually give you an answer because there isnt one...everyone is different, i had my op in november and still off work, and from what ive been told it will be another 3 months....im going nuts, mentally its a challange to be positive.....im trying, so good luck.....mce

 
Old 04-28-2010, 08:30 AM   #8
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

MCE,you had your surgery in nov. Are you feeling any better? That seems such a long time ago. I know how you feel. Not being able to do anything. It's frustrating. What I don't understand is that I had a laminectomy in 1997. Five weeks later I went back to work. This time I'm having problems.It's been 6 weeks now and I'm going to be off at least til 5/21/10. Maybe longer.
BigRossi my mri showed no abnormalities. Not that I wanted it show anything. Just don't know what to think. For 4 weeks I was doing fine. Then kaboom it hits me. Couldn't hardly walk, stand, or sit without pain in back and right quadricep just burning in pain. Back on steriods again for a week. Hate these things; can't sleep. Have to take sleep pills. If I have another flareup after taking steriods they said I might have to have a CT scan. This is the 5th set of steriods since dec. Will keep in touch. Good Luck to everyone!

 
Old 04-28-2010, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

The doctor said my nerves looked fine when he was in there. Today is my 3 week anniversary of my microdiscectomy. I don't go back until 5-17-2010. At that point I'm pretty sure I'll start physical therapy.

I have a pretty physical job so I'll push the healing process as long as possible even if I begin to feel as if I'm okay.

 
Old 04-28-2010, 11:13 AM   #10
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

Big Rossi, we are all very impatient to resume normal life...
I was planning to run my first marathon in June this year, I'm so frustrated not to be able to play soccer with my 8 yo boy or go swimming with him, I put on a bit of weight etc....
I have a physical job also and I can't wait to be able to resume it again...
However, if you don't accept that you need to slow things down and be patient, you are not going to do yourself any favours.
I did too much during the 3 wks post op, walked too long distances, then, my body paid back the mistakes and got punished as a result, I triggered a nasty sciatica that prevented me to move or stand up for more than 3/4 mn at a time for 10 days!!!!! Basically I wasted time and added 1 month recovery time according to the neuro surgeon who repeated to me to take it slowly and easy, and not to over do anything, easier thing to say than do but this is the only road to recovery.
Take it handy, and best of luck to you and all !!!

 
Old 04-28-2010, 11:26 AM   #11
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

I certainly appreciate the reply. Only once did I over do it...I got on an eliptical at the gym for 30 minutes at a high pace. An hour or so later and for the next few days I thought I was done....it brought my sciatic pain up considerably.

I find casual walks around the block seem to make me feel much better then the treadmill at the gym. I'm sure I'm not taking it as easy as I think I am. I make some movements that give me a nice shot of pain every now and then.

Last night instead of turning on my side and lifting up out of bed I sat straight up using my stomach muscles......holly cow that shot a pain down my thigh that froze me in my place for a second or two.

I'm a big guy at 6'5 and liked to going to the gym and so forth. I was running around 295 when my injury occurred and I have went on a mission to get the weight off my back. Injury was in January now I'm running 268.5 this morning. My goal is 250 which should be a good weight for my frame and build. I will re evaluate it if/when I get there.

 
Old 05-06-2010, 07:57 AM   #12
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

I'm now 4 weeks post op and I'm starting to feel better. As of 4 days ago I quit taking the vicodin. I'm still taking the anit inflamation meds.

The pains I have are much duller then they used to be. The irritating part right now is....and I assume it's muscles...I'm still sort of in a S. I'm constantly looking in a mirror forcing my back straight.

I'm pulled down to the right...which is the side of pain. Anyone else have this issue?

 
Old 05-06-2010, 09:59 AM   #13
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

I HAD A LITTLE OF THAT BECAUSE MY MUSCLES WERE SO USED TO BEING INJURED AND ATROPHY.At some point soone the surgeon can give you some stretches to get things loosened up. When I started my stretching I got a bit sore. But then it went away. The stretches and exercise will retrain all the areas that were injured. But it takes a while. Sounds like you are doing great and good for you getting off those Vic's. Staying on those long term is a whole other problem you don't want. Keep up the good work it will keep getting better. I have been walking and standing straight for a couple months now without even thinkinbg about. Sometimes it is the small stuff that matters most.

 
Old 05-06-2010, 10:08 AM   #14
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

I asked the doctor if I can stretch since I feel the need. But I was only 2 weeks post op at that point and he told me NO!

I go back May 17th and at that point I'm pretty sure they will put me in physical therapy finally. I certainly feel like I need to be stretched out. I used to be able to touch my toes.....I bet I couldn't get half way down there right now. Not to mention it might not feel too well either!

I'm feeling up beat about the whole process now. At about week 2 I was a little down about the whole thing. I wasn't feeling well at all. I was thinking my god what will I do if I can't go back to work!!! But now two weeks later I'm feeling like I'm going to recover!!!

Now I just have to make sure I don't over do it!

 
Old 05-08-2010, 08:27 AM   #15
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Re: L4/L5 Microdiscectomy

hi, still the same only getting a bit better....QUESTION...do i go back to work limping and in pain..or do i listen to my body and wait till im sure...workcare is making noises about going back part time...but with the meds i cant drive anyway...i dont wont to go backwards but im frustrated and bored...

 
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